Sunday, June 29, 2008

Pains of the Past, Hopes for the Future

More Alevi demands go unmet (see June 16 post), more calls to reconcile a troubled past . . .

From BIA-Net:
Fifteen years passed since the Madımak massacre at Madımak Hotel in Sivas in eastern Central Turkey, where the Muslim-Sunni crowd that surrounded the hotel intellectuals and activists for an Alevi celebration were staying and forced thirty seven of them burn to death.

According to the European Peace Assembly, “Fifteen years passed since this massacre done by the reactionary forces under the state protection. But Sivas is still burning, because those responsible for it have not been caught yet.

“We protest the Justice and Development government”
The demands of the assembly are the following:

“Madımak Hotel must be closed down immediately and turned into a museum as soon as possible. A monument for those massacred at Sivas must be built. Those responsible for the massacre and their collaborators inside the state must be brought to justice and punished. The rightful democratic demands of the Alevi society must be met without further delay.

Criticizing that Madımak Hotel is not closed down ad is still open as a “meat restaurant”, the assembly said, “The demands by the democratic social dynamics, foremost among them are victims’ relatives and the Alevi society, have not been met. Even though Etuğrul Günay, Minister of Culture and Tourism, had said that this place would be opened as a florist, this did not happen.”

Firstly the Alevi society and then the whole democratic public realize what AKP’s Alevi approach mean, when they see some of the perpetrators as AKP members. We protest the AKP government for trying to make people forget Sivas massacre.

Other religions such as Christianity, Judaism, Alevi and Yezidi must be as close to the state as Islam is and Alevi religion must be recognized as a separate belief. The obstacles that prevent Cem Houses from functioning as houses of worship must be removed. The state must get out of the field of religion, abolish the Department of Religious Affairs, whose budget comes close to the budgets of three ministries combined, and discontinue the religion box of the identity cards. (EZÖ/TB)

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